Ah, pancakes. Breakfast for weekends, special occasions and holidays. Kid-favorite and adult-indulgence. Cozy and classic.
Chances are, you already have a go-to recipe — whether it’s from scratch or a box — but we’re here to encourage you to branch out! That’s why we’ve rounded up these delicious variations, from cinnamon roll pancakes to pancakes for chocolate lovers.
Note: For allergy-friendly variations, we recommend swapping in your favorite cup-for-cup gluten-free flour, or, in a pinch, trying the Bisquick Gluten Free pancake mix. For dairy-free kiddos, oat milk makes a creamy alternative. For vegan families, The Minimalist Baker has a great guide to egg substitutes.
Banana surprise pancakes
This banana pancake recipe from The Spruce Eats is sweetened with honey and includes a half-cup of cottage cheese for a sneaky protein boost. Rather than mashing the bananas into the batter, this recipe involves putting a slice of banana in the middle of each pancake while they’re on the griddle — so when you cut into a cooked pancake, there’s a surprise banana at the center!
Blueberry, lemon and ricotta pancakes
The Spruce Eats is at it again with the sophisticated pancakes! This recipe is a step up from your average blueberry pancakes and has all the best flavors: sweet berries, tangy ricotta and zesty lemon. They’re sure to take a celebratory breakfast to the next level. Pro tip: Bookmark this one for Mother’s Day!
Chocolate pancakes 2.0
Gone are the days of simply throwing a handful of chocolate chips into your pancake batter. Pretty, Simple, Sweet has transformed dessert into breakfast with this recipe variation on pancakes that are chocolate through-and-through.
You read that right. Recipe Tin Eats has come up with so much more than Nutella slathered between two pancakes — each pancake has a layer of gooey Nutella on the inside, which means more room for toppings on the outside.
Cinnamon roll pancakes
Two family-favorite breakfasts in one? Yes, please! Fifteen Spatulas has a fabulous recipe for Cinnamon Roll Pancakes. This recipe calls for a standard pancake batter with a special cinnamon swirl addition — and of course, cream cheese frosting for the top.
For a fruity riff on your classic pancake recipe, try these cinnamon-applesauce pancakes from Just a Taste. Make sure to go the extra mile and prepare the softened apples for a topping — you won’t be disappointed!
Peanut butter pancakes
For peanut butter lovers, try Taste of Home’s peanut butter pancake recipe. The topping options are endless, from honey to syrup to peanut butter or — for a PB&J twist — this strawberry syrup recipe from Cooking Classy.
Boston cream pancakes
Your favorite pie (or doughnut) just became a pancake. Country Cleaver presents a recipe for pancakes complete with pastry cream and chocolate ganache for the top. Drool. Pro tip: Make the pastry cream the night before for a more relaxed morning.
For kiddos who love some color, try these funfetti pancakes from Yummy Healthy Easy. Rainbow sprinkles make these pancakes possible, but don’t forget to save some sprinkles (and whipped cream) for the top!
Pureed pumpkin isn’t just good for pie! Spiced with cinnamon, allspice and ginger, these pumpkin pancakes from Once Upon a Chef are perfect for pumpkin spice lovers. Top with toasted pecans and maple syrup. Pro tip: Not a pumpkin fan? You can swap the canned pureed pumpkin for the canned pureed sweet potato to achieve a similarly sweet result.
Editor’s note: This article was originally published in February 2021, and updated in February 2022.